Nashville Predators: Subban’s Inconsistency & Trade Destinations

It’s been rumoured that the Nashville Predators will explore a trade involving all-star defenseman P.K. Subban

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Subban has been an all-star multiple times throughout his ten seasons in the NHL and won the Norris Trophy in 2013. While he’s had an outstanding ten seasons, he been mentioned in trade rumours off and on. After the 2015-2016 season, the Montreal Canadiens felt that a change was needed. Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin decided to trade Subban to the Predators. In return, the Canadiens received defenseman Shea Weber. This was a controversial trade at the time. Subban loved playing in Montreal and was loved by the fans. Bergevin faced criticism for trading Subban for an older defenseman who has had injury concerns. 

Since coming to Nashville, Subban’s play has been a tad inconsistent. During his 2016-2017 season, he played in 66 games, had 10 goals, 30 assists, 16 power-play points, 24:24 average time on ice (ATOI), 58 take-aways and a 54.4 corsi-for percentage (CF%). In Subban’s 2017-2018 season, he bounced back and he was stellar in the offensive zone. In 82 games, Subban recorded 16 goals, 43 assists, 25 power-play points, 24:07 ATOI, 97 take-aways and a 51.2 CF%. Last season, his offensive production stalled out once again. In 63 games played, Subban recorded 9 goals, 22 assists, 10 power-play points, 22:40 ATOI, 57 take-aways and a 53.4 CF%. 

What’s Causing The Inconsistency?

With his inconsistency in the offensive zone, we should take the time to point out what is causing the drop in offensive production prior to taking about potential destinations. 

The biggest issue is that Subban is no longer a “carry-in specialist”. Earlier on in his career he loved to control the puck and create zone entries, but that’s no longer the case. Predators fans did catch a glimpse of Subban going back to his old carry-in tendencies in his 2017-2018 campaign, but that he failed to carry that over into his 2018-2019 campaign.

In addition, he’s not generating that many shots. Subban’s PSC/60 was fairly lower than you’d expect.

In the visual below (visual from Sean Tierney), you’ll see that Subban wasn’t a puck carrying defenseman neither was he generating scoring chances/generating shots last season.

visual created by Sean Tierney, data from EvolvingWild and Corey Sznajder

Potential Destinations

Perhaps Subban would benefit from being in a different defensive unit. He played extremely well in his days with the Montreal Canadiens and maybe a different coaching philosophy would be beneficial to Subban’s production. 

With that in mind, there are several clubs across the NHL that could use his services.

The Florida Panthers are trying to load up on talent. Panthers general manager Dale Tallon has been rumoured to be chasing after Evgeni Malkin, Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky. If a couple of those engagements go sour, Tallon could see Subban as a Plan B.

The Edmonton Oilers desperately need an offensive defenseman talent. The Edmonton Oilers lack a defenseman who they can utilize to quarterback their power-play. While Darnell Nurse hasn’t been awful at running the power-play, Subban would be a huge upgrade. Plenty of the Oilers including Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jesse Puljujarvi would all benefit from having Subban running their power-play. In addition, the Oilers would likely need Subban to be a puck-mover, which would enable Subban to record similar campaigns to his 2017-2018 season.

The New York Islanders would also be a solid fit. They have a ton of cap space. Also, similar to the Oilers as they don’t have a true defenseman who can control their power-play efficiently. Ryan Pulock and Nick Leddy have been holding up the fort, but Subban would be more efficient.

Stay Tuned

The Puck77 crew will keep you up to date and will let you know if a trade will go down involving Subban. Stay tuned.

stats from Corey Sznajder, Hockey-Reference.com, Evolving Wild

visual from Sean Tierney

featured image photo credit – Nikos Michals

 

 

 

Montreal Canadiens

Montréal Canadiens: Defensive Trade Targets

The Montréal Canadiens need to add a left handed defenseman this off-season.

If you look at the Canadiens lineup, they have a lot of depth on the right hand side, but lack depth on the left side. On the right side, the Canadiens have Shea Weber, Jeff Petry, Christian Folin, Noah Juulsen, Josh Brook, Cale Fleury, Brett Lernout. The left side consists of Victor Mete, Brett Kulak, Jordie Benn, Mike Reilly, Karl Alzner, David Sklenička, Otto Leskinen, Xavier Ouellet and Gustav Olofsson

While Kulak and Benn were effective for the Canadiens at points last season, the Canadiens need consistent and more reliable left handed defensemen. 

With that in mind, the Canadiens will likely be testing the trade market and some of the defensemen who they will likely be interested in are Darnell Nurse of the Edmonton Oilers and Ryan Murray of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Darnell Nurse

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The second to last time that the Canadiens traded with the Edmonton Oilers for a defenseman, they struck gold. On March 2, 2015, they acquired Jeff Petry in a trade with the Oilers and Petry has been a dependable mainstay in the Canadiens lineup ever since. So, the question is can they do it again?

Last off-season, Darnell Nurse took quite a bit of time to come to terms with the Oilers on a new deal. On September 17th, he signed a two year deal with a 3.2 million USD AAV. 

While Nurse was the best defenseman for the Oilers, he did struggle quite a bit. In the visual below (created by Sean Tierney, data from Corey Sznajder), you’ll see that while Nurse’s possession exit percentage and break-up percentage were pretty solid, he was only a smidge better than Oscar Klefbom and Jason Garrison

With a new regime in Edmonton, perhaps new general manager Ken Holland will look to acquire some extra draft picks in the upcoming draft and utilize Nurse as trade bait. And who knows, perhaps Nurse will fit in a bit better in Claude Julien‘s defensive scheme and have the opportunity to shine. 

Plus, Habs fans should keep in mind that Nurse’s performance last season was much better than Mete, Ouellet, Alzner and Juulsen. So, he would definetly be an upgrade on the left side. Also, Nurse is a physical defenseman (162 hits last season) and he could come in handy when the Canadiens take on speedy clubs like the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Tampa Bay Lightning. Just try to visualize Nurse on the blue-line shutting down speedy wingers like Zach Hyman, Mitch Marner, Yanni Gourde, Tyler Johnson and Nikita Kucherov.

Ryan Murray

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It’s no secret that the Columbus Blue Jackets are in for a crazy off-season. In order for the Blue Jackets to remain a contender for next season, they need to find a way to keep Artemi Panarin, Sergei Bobrovsky, Matt Duchene and Zachary Werenski in Ohio. 

With those four big names that need to be locked up, they could potentially run out of cap room and might need to move on from Murray. Murray will be a RFA on July 1st and could get a 4-5 million USD AAV deal.

My concern with Murray is that he’s not a reliable defenseman when it comes to breakups. He’ll get the puck out of the zone, but when it comes to shutting down his opposition, that’s a different story. In the visual below from Sean Tierney (data from Corey Sznajder), you’ll see that Murray is a break-up magician at 5v5. But, if Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen doesn’t expect the Canadiens to overpay for Murray, then perhaps Murray could be an attractive option for Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin.

Bergevin’s Loafers

If I’m in Bergevin’s loafers, I’m making Nurse my priority. Adding Nurse would boost the Canadiens’ blue-line and would add another physical defenseman to the team. Plus, Nurse is pretty solid at offensive production. Last season, he had 10 goals and 31 assists in 82 games. Not bad considering he was on an Oilers club who had trouble scoring goals. 

Worst case, Bergevin can try to acquire Murray and if that falls through then he can try to find a cheap free agent defenseman to try out. 

stats from hockey-reference.com, Corey Sznajder

visuals from Sean Tierney

featured image photo credit – Nikos Michals

Edmonton Oilers

Edmonton Oilers: Koskinen’s Deal Isn’t That Bad

Prior to former Edmonton Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli being fired, he had re-signed Mikko Koskinen to a new contract.

On January 21st, Koskinen signed a three-year deal for 13.5 million USD. The average annual value (AAV) of the deal is 4.5 million USD. In addition to the 4.5 million AAV, Chiarelli attached a modified no trade clause (NTC). With the NTC, Koskinen submits a list of 15 teams that he doesn’t want to be traded to.

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At first glance, most Oiler fans and hockey fans were confused by the signing. The Oilers were re-signing a goaltender who wasn’t posting a great goals against average (2.92 GAA) nor a solid save percentage (.906 SV%). But, the contract isn’t half bad. Let me explain.

The Oilers Defense Is Slowing Koskinen Down

The Edmonton Oilers’ defensive core simply isn’t good. There are only three defensemen that own a corsi-for percentage (CF%) higher than 50%. Evan Bouchard, Andrej Sekera and Oscar Klefbom are the three defensemen, but only two are truly having a good season. Bouchard’s CF% is inflated. It’s currently at 55.4 CF%, but his time on ice/60 is 12:21. Unfortunately, when you aren’t playing that much, it’s hard to use CF% as an indicator of effectiveness. Instead, Bouchard’s effectiveness is more of an unknown. But, he is a former first round pick and he likely will be solid at the NHL level at some point.

Aside from Bouchard, Klefbom and Sekera are having good seasons. But, Sekera has missed a ton of time this season. He had a torn achilles tendon and missed the bulk of the 2018-19 season. He only made his season debut on February 19th against the Arizona Coyotes. So in essence, Klefbom has been the only reliable defenseman for Edmonton throughout the course of the season. But, even he hasn’t been that great. If you look below at Sean Tierney’s Controlling the blue line visual, Klefbom has been the most effective and creating exits and preventing entries against, but it’s not by much. As you can see, he’s barely more effective than other defenseman like Darnell Nurse and Jason Garrison, who both are having a horrible season. 

visual from Sean Tierney, data from Corey Sznajder

With the Oilers’ defensive core struggling to succeed, you’d have to expect that Koskinen’s GAA and SV% will be a bit inflated.

Other Goalie Contracts

In addition to the Oilers’ defensive struggles, other goaltenders in the NHL are making a ton of money. This used to not be the case, but ever since Carey Price of the Montréal Canadiens signed an eight year deal worth 10.5 million USD AAV, goaltenders are seeing an increase in wages.

For example, 10 months after Price signed his extension, on April 6, 2018, the Arizona Coyotes signed their goaltender Antti Raanta to a three-year deal worth 4.25 million USD AAV. That was quite an increase from his last contract, in which, he was earning an AAV of 1 million USD. But, with Price getting paid more, this had an impact on every single goaltender in the NHL. Even goalies like Raanta, who had limited success in the NHL, were taking home a fatter check.

Plus, with the salary cap getting higher, you have to factor in the percentage of the cap in which players would typically eat. Just because the cap is going up, doesn’t mean that players aren’t going to expect higher deals. So, given what we know about the Price deal, it’s impact on goalies like Raanta and the cap only going up, it was inevitable that Koskinen was going to get a raise. 

Recap

With what we know about goaltender contracts across the NHL and the lack of solid defense on the Oilers blue-line, it’s unfair to suggest that Koskinen’s deal is a bad one. Instead, there are a lot of unknowns. If the Oilers can add some talent onto their blue-line this off-season and if Bouchard is ready to take on a top four role next season, perhaps Koskinen’s numbers will improve. I don’t have a crystal ball, so it’s hard for me to predict what exactly will happen, but Koskinen could definitely improve. Let’s just sit back and see what happens. 

stats from hockey-reference.com, NHL.com and Corey Sznajder

visual from Sean Tierney

featured image photo credit – Nikos Michals

Edmonton Oilers

Edmonton Oilers: Promoting Mediocrity and Failing Upwards, Part Two Redux

When reading part two of my series, I realized some things I had left out.

This was brought to my attention by some nice people on the oilers.nhl.com forums. While some of my omissions were on purpose, such as the Kruger firing or the Fayne/Pouliot contracts. I didn’t properly explain what my criteria was for inclusion in my article, and for that I apologize.

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Why I Omitted Anything

Well in all honesty it was mainly due to length. These things take a lot of research and Craig MacTavish has a very big black book. After two weeks of on and off research I compiled a list and starting writing. Draft one of my article was over 2200 words, which is far far too long for a comprehensible article. It had turned into a novella instead of an article so I needed to cut some things out.

To do this I decided to take what was reported as his role by this video by TSN and focus my criticisms around that role. His roles, as stated in the article, circulate around the Bakersfield Condors, and on pro scouting, so I put my focus around that. I decided that focusing on his ability to see talent and analyze players properly would more properly illustrate his lack of skill in management.

Things Omitted and Justification

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1. The Ralph Krueger Dallas Eakins fiasco.

This, while egregiously and utterly ridiculous, had nothing to do with his ability to see talent in players. Furthermore it isn’t unnatural to see a new GM bring in their own guy as coach. We saw it with Todd McLellan when Chiarelli was brought in, even though Todd Nelson was doing a fine job in an interim role. While I believe firing Krueger was a mistake, especially over Skype, Eakins was highly regarded at the time. Although he ended up being a disaster and set the team back years I don’t blame the change squarely on MacTavish, but that’s a topic for part three.

2.  Fayne contract.

This one I didn’t include because I touched on it in part 1. Also talking about free agency is a little tricky as as bad as Fayne turned out to be, I doubt that contract was 100% due to choice. I know Edmonton was close on Stralman, but eventually lost out to Tampa Bay.

Edmonton was extremely bare on defense and at forward in the summer of  2014. Edmonton lost Nick Schultz, Anton Belov, Ladislav Smid, and Phil Larsen and needed some replacements. MacTavish and Co. ended up filling those voids with Mark Fayne, Nikita Nikitin, and Keith Aulie. The free agent market that year was headlined by Anton Stralman, Matt Niskanen, Christian Erhoff, Kyle Quincey, and Dan Boyle.

  • Stralman signed a contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning
  • Niskanen signed a contract with the Washington Capitals
  • Erhoff signed a contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins
  • Kyle Quincey signed a contract with by the Detroit Red Wings
  • Dan Boyle signed a contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

You know what all these teams had in common? well they were all in or close to being in the playoffs. Good players go where they know they can make an impact on a good team. Edmonton was 28th that year. While it’s not clear what other players they looked at I don’t blame MacT for Fayne. I blame Howson and the rest of the pro-scouting department for overvaluing the player.

Ultimately it was their job to present MacTavish with targets and it was MacTavish’s job to try to sign the players the scouting dept. brought to him. Fayne had a total of 48 points in 242 career games as a Devil and was given a 4 year 3.65 AAV contract by the Oilers. I could almost guarantee after his last 2 year 1.3 AAV contract most teams weren’t offering more than 3, maybe even 2.5 but Edmonton ponied up 3.6 million…

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3.  Pouliot Contract.

Well for the same reason I didn’t include Fayne I didn’t include Pouliot. Edmonton was not a destination for free agents and still has trouble with them today. The top 5 forwards available in free agency that year were Paul Statsny, Thomas Vanek, Jarome Iginla, Mike Cammalleri, and Daniel Alfredsson. Isn’t it wild that that used to be a list of quality NHL players 4 years ago? Three of those guys are out of the league and Vanek and Statsny are no longer the stars they once were, anyway:

  • Statsny signed a contract with the St. Louis Blues
  • Vanek signed a contract with the Minnesota Wild
  • Iginla signed a contract with the Colorado Avalanche
  • Cammalleri signed a contract with the New Jersey Devils
  • Alfredsson signed a contract with the Detroit Red Wings

Again, all of these teams were contenders at the time and I doubt any of the above players had Edmonton on their lists. Pouliot brought short term value to Edmonton and unfortunately was damaging to the long term success of the Oilers. His sudden drop out and subsequent buyout ended up hurting the team, which while unfortunate can’t be blamed on management. I would consider this to be a fair signing, given the circumstance. At the very least an argument can be made to justify the addition. 5 years is a lot of term on a third line player, but the 4 million AAV wasn’t horrible.

4.  Craig MacTavish’s draft trades

Honestly the only reason I didn’t talk about this is because I forgot to mention it. I pinned it in my research and I just forgot to add it in. It does however demonstrate some interesting logic from Oilers brass. This is an excerpt from an Edmonton Journal article from 2013.

“Craig MacTavish twice traded one draft pick for three lower ones. The net effect was the exchange of the #37 selection for FIVE picks in the #83-113 range. Theoretically, each spot yielded a player with about a ~20% chance of playing 100 games in the NHL, according to Cullen’s research. If one of the five achieves that minor milestone, that will be about average for players taken in this range. If two or more do — or better, if one really turns out — Stu MacGregor and staff will have beaten the odds.” – Bruce McCurdy

This was actually a really interesting bit of information. The logic here isn’t completely off base. If you have an excellent scouting department that can make good picks consistently, such as Edmonton’s current regiment under Bob Green and Keith Gretzky, I can see the value in this Idea.

However,

Head scout Stu MacGregor was a not a good head scout, his record speaks for itself. He was responsible for the three 1st round picks in 2007 that turned into Sam Gagner, Alex Plante, and Riley Nash. Yikes. Here’s a list of second round picks he drafted: Anton Lander, Tyler Pitlick, David Musil, Mitchell Moroz, and Marc-Olivier Roy. Woof. None of those players are in the Oilers organization and only 1 still has any NHL/AHL contract. That’s right, save Pitlick, this list of players is not even AHL quality.

So while the logic was there the ability to actually put the principle into practice was not and it cost both MacGregor and MacTavish their jobs. To put this even more into perspective here’s a list of Oilers draft picks under MacGregor that are still with the Oilers organization:

  1. Leon Draisaitl
  2. William Lagesson
  3. Tyler Vesel
  4. Darnell Nurse
  5. Jujhar Khaira
  6. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
  7. Oscar Klefbom
  8. Tobias Reider

In his draft career as head of scouting from 2007-2014 Stu MacGregor drafted 61 different players. After all of that drafting, 8 are still with the organization. Not. Good. Enough.

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Wrap-up

Hopefully that clears up some if not all of the issues that came up with my original part two. I am so happy with how well this series has resonated with readers. It has given me the opportunity to engage and interact with fans in a way that I personally haven’t had in my short writing career. I appreciate the comments and how far this has spread and 100% welcome more comments/criticisms that get sent my way. Furthermore, this has been the most fun I’ve had researching and writing and am so glad it’s resonating with all of you out there.

Get ready for part three when I talk about the worst offender of the bunch!

 

 

 

 

Edmonton Oilers

Edmonton Oilers: Promoting Mediocrity and Failing Upwards, Part Two

Welcome to part two of my series on the Edmonton Oilers management team.

I was so undecided about who to write about for part two. See in hindsight I should have finished off with Howson instead of starting with him. While I think Kevin Lowe and Craig MacTavish should no longer be with the team, they have had success in the Edmonton Oilers organization. Howson on the other hand was a very questionable re-hire by the team as a pro scout. He’s even more questionable and down right indefensible as a VP of Player development.

So instead of writing a whole article being extremely (and justifiably) critical of the management member in question, I’m going to list the good, the bad, and the downright ugly. That way all you people wanting to write off anything I say as “overly critical team bashing” won’t have a leg to stand on.

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The Good

Well as a player, MacTavish was a great asset to the Edmonton Oilers. While I’m not going to go too into detail about that as I’m more focused on his management career I’d be remiss not to mention his importance to the Oilers dynasty of 80’s. When he did retire from playing he very quickly jumped into coaching and had a pretty successful career. Starting in 1997-1998 as an assistant coach for the Rangers, MacTavish joined the Oilers organization in 1999-2000 as an assistant to Kevin Lowe. Following Kevin Lowe’s promotion to general manager in 2000-2001 Craig MacTavish found himself as the head coach of the Edmonton Oilers.

From 2000 to 2009 Craig MacTavish’s teams were always sniffing around the playoffs. He coached the Edmonton Oilers to the playoffs three times over his tenure. Unfortunately they lost twice to Dallas in the first round and once in the finals to Carolina Hurricanes, close but no championship. MacTavish’s teams finished 12th, 15th, 14th, 17th, 14th again, 25th, 19th, and 21st. While he never ran a top team, his teams were mostly competitive over his tenure as head coach.

While he never had a top ten team in the NHL Craig MacTavish was a solid NHL coach. He finished his career with 656 games coached, wherein he had a record of 301 wins, 252 losses, 47 ties, and 56 overtime losses in regular season play. Craig MacTavish also posted a 19-17 record in playoff action. He was a serviceable head coach in Edmonton but was ultimately fired for not making the post season three seasons in a row. This firing prompted his change into management leading where he is today.

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The Bad

Craig MacTavish was a bad general manager for the Edmonton Oilers.

No seriously, his trade record and draft record speak for themselves. Here is the full list of Craig MacTavish trades:

I left out a couple of minor league deals that didn’t have any roster impact on Edmonton but holy if that isn’t a bad track record. 0% of the players acquired in deals remain in Edmonton. in defense and at forward not enough was done to make the team competitive. We lost Gagner, Hemsky, Horcoff, Smid and Paajarvi. In return for those players the Edmonton Oilers received Purcell, Nikitin, Hendricks, Horak, Brown, Larsen, and Perron. That is a big hemorrhage of talent. Huge. Beyond Purcell and Perron, Edmonton brought in numerous fringe players to replace the old top 9 players. Nikitin and Larsen were also a big downgrade to Smid, who formed an effective shutdown pairing with Jeff Petry while in Edmonton.

Edmonton had to trade 5 goalies that season along with playing one from the AHL. Edmonton’s anemic and outright embarrassing defense ended up costing 4 of the 6 goalies that played in 2013-2014 their NHL careers. None of Scrivens, Fasth, LaBarbera, or Bryzgalov are in the league anymore. All of them lost their NHL careers within 2 seasons after their Oilers stints. Richard Bachman is still floating between the AHL and NHL in the Canucks organization. Dubnyk somehow eventually thrived, even after this legendary quote from Craig Mactavish about his faith in Dubnyk:

“Devan, I think that you’re right, the verdict is out on Devan. I’ve always believed that when you’re assessing goaltenders, if you have to ask the question you know the answer. The question would be, has Devan established himself as a number one goalie in the National Hockey League? And I still think it’s a valid question. So, I think that Devan, although he’s trending upwards in his numbers and played adequately for us this year, I still think, and I know Devan feels the same way, that there’s another level for him. From our standpoint, we’ll see that he can get to that level.” – Craig MacTavish

These aren’t even the worst of his screw ups and mistakes which takes me too:

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The Ugly

What has Edmonton needed for the longest time? What did they mortgage a bunch of assets to get? why a right-handed top 4 defender of course. Through MacTavish’s poor negotiating tactics and big mouth he lost both Justin Schultz and Jeff Petry for pennies on the dollar. first off MacTavish said this in a media avail about Jeff Petry:

“At the end of last year I felt strongly that we had to challenge Jeff on a one-year deal. I didn’t like where his game was going. I didn’t like the urgency in his game and the decisiveness in his game and I thought it was important that we challenge him on a one-year deal.” – Craig MacTavish

This quote was spoken in a media avail dated on March 2nd, 2015, after Petry was traded from the Oilers to the Canadiens. Since leaving the Edmonton Oilers Petry has thrived, posting 16, 28, and 42 points in the following three seasons. He is precisely what Edmonton needs on their roster right now and he was lost due to what I can only call incompetence. Currently he has 31 points in only 45 games this season. Justin Schultz has also vastly improved since leaving Edmonton.

Following his trade away from the Edmonton Oilers for only a 3rd round pick, Schultz posted 8 points in 18 games and 4 points in 15 playoff games to close out the season. In his next year, Schultz took a huge leap forward posting a staggering 51 points in 78 games and an impressive 13 points in 21 games as Schultz won his first Stanley Cup. Ironically that season Schultz finished 5th in Norris voting. Craig MacTavish’s quote about Schultz rang shockingly true, he just needed to leave Edmonton to do it:

“the potential there is absolutely in that group [with Erik Karlsson and Kris Letang]. I think that Justin has Norris Trophy potential and I don’t think that there are too many people who would disagree with me in that regard.”
– Craig MacTavish

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The Really Ugly

I was only planning on doing three headings but it would be wrong of me not to mention Edmonton’s drafting record under MacTavish. MacTavish over say the 2013 and 2014 drafts and they were piss poor. Here’s the list of players Edmonton drafted that are still with the organization today after those drafts:

Here’s the list of players who aren’t. Marc-Olivier Roy, Bogdan Yakimov, Anton Slepyshev, Jackson Houck, Aidan Muir, Evan Campbell, Ben Betker, Greg Chase, Zach Nagelvoort, Keven Bouchard, and Liam Coughlin.

That is a sad group of prospects. If you want to know why our forward depth is so bleak right now this is one of the reasons. Teams live and die by their ability to draft and develop a cycle of players that can impact the roster.

We’re finally starting to see a good prospect base now from the 2015-2018 drafts but the prospects listed here should have been the ones to come in and insulate the core. I’m not by any means suggesting all of them but ideally 2 or 3 of the names above should be on the Oilers wings right now contributing. Instead the Edmonton Oilers have made trades and signings to make up for that depth and it’s cultivated into Spooner, Lucic, and Rieder costing 11.1 million against the cap. None of them have 10 points so far this year and the season is half over.

Final Thoughts

MacTavish had two years at the helm of this team and did about 5 years worth of damage. His inability to keep and acquire good defenders forced Chiarelli into trading for one when he took the helm. While Chiarelli made really bad trades (Reinhart, Hall) a very good argument can be made that it wouldn’t have been necessary if not for MacTavish. Furthermore the Lucic signing may not have been necessary if draft picks in the 2013 and 2014 draft would have been properly made and developed.

Ultimately that all boils down to maybe’s and what-ifs but what can be shown is that Craig MacTavish makes bad decisions. This guy should not be working as a part of a hockey team’s management. He failed upwards into his current position as Vice President of Hockey Operations and he should be let go.

stats from NHL.com and hockey-reference.com

featured image photo credit – Nikos Michals